Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Slainte! Toast James Joyce on Brooklyn's very own Bloomsday (four days early)

Bloomsday has nothing to do with flowers.

On June 12, raise a glass to one of Ireland’s most famous exports — James Joyce — with a pub crawl that re-enacts scenes from the auteur’s masterpiece, “Ulysses.”

The entire action of the book — a day in the life of Dubliner Leopold Bloom — actually takes place on June 16, but organizers of “Bloomsday in Brooklyn” realized that it’s easier to organize a pub crawl, literary aspirations aside, on a Saturday.

“We wanted to support the neighborhood and support Fifth Avenue,” said John Burns, a member of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick of Brooklyn, an Irish society that is organizing the event for the first time. “The resurgence of Fifth Avenue has allowed for that.”

The crawl starts at Black Sheep Pub — chosen because “Joyce is probably Ireland’s most famous black sheep,” said Burns.

Then it’s on to O’Connor’s, Loki and the Benchmark, Jackie’s, and Harry Boland’s, all on Fifth Avenue, and then, just a short bus-ride away, Rocky Sullivan’s in Red Hook.

At each stop, there will be traditional Irish music, and Irish actors will be reading passages from the novel. It’ll be the closest to Dublin you can get.

Bloomsday in Brooklyn starts at Black Sheep Pub [428 Bergen St. at Fifth Avenue in Park Slope] on June 12 at 2 pm. For info, visit


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